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Saturday 28th April 2018

Evo-Stik League South East

The Memorial Playing Fields, Hartley Wintney Attendance: 231

Hartley Wintney

3 4

Aylesbury United

  Half-time: (1-1)  
Paul STRUDLEYPlayer Image1
(c) Dean STOWPlayer Image2
16 79m Nick HUTCHINGSPlayer Image3
Josh WEBBPlayer Image4
Jack BALLPlayer Image5
Liam EAGLEPlayer Image19
Steve DUFFPlayer Image7
Jack FRENCHPlayer Image8
Nic CIARDINIPlayer Image12
17 58m Tyron SMITHPlayer Image10
Paul HODGESPlayer Image11
10 58m Adam EVERISSPlayer Image17
Louie PAGETPlayer Image14
Declan SHUTTLEWORTHPlayer Image15
3 79m James TENNANTPlayer Image16
Chris HARRISPlayer Image20
1Player ImageJack HOPWOOD
2Player ImageOllie STANBRIDGE
3Player ImageJake BEWLEY
4Player ImageJack WOOD (c)
5Player ImageCallum MAPLEY
6Player ImageOllie HOGG
7Player ImageJeanmal PROSPER16 88m 
8Player ImageGreg WILLIAMS
9Player ImageAaron BERRY
10Player ImageBen SEATON
11Player ImageSonny FRENCH8
12Player ImageMaciej TAJS
14Player ImageMatt PEAKE-PIJNEN
15Player ImageJamie KEEN
16Player ImageHarry JONES7 88m 
MManager ImageBen WILLIAMS
Match Report



Aylesbury’s excellent second half to the season ended on a positive note as they beat third placed Hartley Wintney 4-3 following an entertaining game on their first ever visit to the Memorial Playing Fields.

As a result, the Ducks exactly equalled their 13th place finish and points tally of 55 in 2016/17, which was quite a feat given their precarious position of second bottom in the table with just 15 points at the turn of the year.

It is all testament to the excellent work of Ben Williams and his management team, and after the well earned summer break Aylesbury can look forward to what should be an exciting 2018/19 season such is the potential in this squad.

With an additional promotion spot potentially on offer for the best 3rd placed finisher at Step 4 level, Hartley Witney needed a win to secure that position in the league, having already qualified for the playoffs.

They started the game strongly with Jack Hopwood called upon in the first minute to save Nic Ciardini’s volley after he connected with a floated left wing cross. Ciardini had the ball in the net seconds later but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Paul Hodges placed a fifth minute shot just wide of the target, and, still within the opening ten minutes, Hodges broke and found Josh Webb in space who in turn squared for Jack French who somehow missed the target from close range.

Aylesbury registered as an attacking threat for the first time when Aaron Berry cleverly backheeled the ball into the path of Ben Seaton who found Sonny French who blazed over, and the same player headed wide having found Berry’s cross just too high to control.

Play was soon back at the other end with Hartley Wintney continuing their dominant start. Hodges sprung the offside trap and chipped Hopwood from the edge of the box, but Aylesbury skipper Jack Wood got back to heroically clear off the line.

Ciardini, pressed into service as a makeshift centre forward, wasn’t having the best of times in front of goal, wasting another good opening when he ghosted in on the end of Dean Stow’s fine ball into the box but shot straight at Hopwood.

In the 19th minute it appeared to those sat in the stands that Hartley had edged ahead when Stow’s free kick rippled the net, but instead of finding the top corner had, actually, in an optical illusion, hit the netting behind the angle of the goal.

Midway through the half Hodges bamboozled his way past Jake Bewley before seeing his snapshot saved by Hopwood, before then hammering a shot over after Bewley made a mess of clearing Steve Duff’s cross, gifting the ball straight to the winger.

Against the general run of play, Aylesbury took the lead nine minutes before half time. Jeanmal Prosper played an accurate ball in to Sonny French on the edge of the box, who had space to get a shot away and placed the ball perfectly into the bottom left corner out of the reach of Paul Strudley. 1-0 Aylesbury

With confidence flowing through their play, the Ducks could have made it two almost immediately through French again, who found himself played clean through only for Strudley to save his low shot with his legs.

As the clock ticked onto the 45 minute mark, Hartley levelled the game. A ball in from the right was met by Paul Hodges whose header was well saved by Hopwood, who then saved the follow up effort but couldn’t keep it out a third time as Jack French scrambled it home. 1-1

There was still time for Aylesbury to hit the post when Sonny French’s shot deflected off Ball before clipping the upright on its way behind, but it ended all square at the interval.

Half-time: Hartley Wintney 1-1 Aylesbury

Aylesbury made the perfect start to the second period by scoring after just five minutes, but prior to that Ciardini was left disappointed again after Hodges’ long run and shot looped up into his path but Ciardini’s header was weak and easy for Hopwood to catch.

Moments later Ollie Hogg put the ball through for Aaron Berry who ran on and produced a clinical finish across the goalkeeper and in off the post. 2-1 Aylesbury

Chances continued aplenty for both sides with Ciardini arrowing a shot wide across goal having been slipped through, before a fine flick from Prosper gave Seaton a shooting chance that he placed straight into the arms of Strudley.

The hosts introduced substitute Adam Everiss and he made an instant impact by winning a corner kick which Hopwood punched out as far as Everiss who could only skew a shot wide.

Berry crashed a thunderous effort wide of the target, and Seaton a volley blocked in the box when Mapley’s cross field free kick fell kindly for him, but momentum swung back the way of Hartley with Steve Duff cutting inside and seeing a shot kept out in unconvincing style by Hopwood.

More trickery from Hodges resulted in the ball being half cleared to Jack French who could only send a difficult volley over the bar, but it was Hodges who then drew his side level for a second time – tapping in the rebound after Hopwood had parried Ciardini’s low shot straight into his path. 2-2

This time parity lasted only four minutes, Prosper a whisker away to claiming a goal for himself with a superb left footed curler that just cleared the crossbar.

Instead, it was Seaton who struck when he timed his run superbly to beat the offside trap to a ball downfield, then head it up and over the advancing Strudley and, after an agonising wait, into the empty net. 3-2 Aylesbury

Liam Eagle might have done better with a corner kick when he headed over from Josh Webb’s delivery, before Hopwood saved yet another Ciardini shot as Hartley Wintney failed to make their chances count once more.

From that, the ball was worked upfield quickly where Prosper produced an outrageous piece of skill to feed Berry who crashed a shot from 25-yards that seemed to go straight through Strudley on its way into the net. 4-2 Aylesbury

With a two-goal cushion and only three minutes and stoppages to play, Aylesbury finally sensed victory was in sight, but the home side still weren’t finished when Hopwood made another stop only for the ball to run free and Ciardini at last had his goal. 3-4

Aylesbury then had more work to do when Hodges picked out Ciardini in the box, who fired in a venomous shot that Hopwood saved well.

That was curtains for the game, and curtains for the season as United claimed an excellent three points to bring an end their second half of the season renaissance.